2010 Vacation – Northern England – York

Tuesday morning we caught the 8:45am train to London from Salisbury.  2 tube rides across town and another train ride landed us in York, just around early afternoon.  We walked through the large park at the town center to our hotel, the Riverwalk Inn.  The hotel was in a good location, on the river, near the park, and very walkable to downtown.  The rooms were bright and cheerful, with modern decor and good views of the passing rowing shells.

We spent the first afternoon at the National Railway Museum.  It is worth every moment spent exploring.  There are exhibits of colorful steam engines from the Royal trains, furnished and displayed for the period of their use, and a warehouse packed with stained glass, switchboards, signs, models, and other assorted but undisplayed items.  Outside there is a working steam train and children’s rides.

After dinner at a local pub, Mom (Pam) took the kids back to the hotel as the rest of us went out for a ghost tour.  It was a color commentary walking tour of the old town center.  Afterward, the tour guide and we chatted and walked to his favorite pub, the Black Swan.  This happens to be the oldest pub in town.  It is cozy and pours a good pint.

Our hotel provided us with a good breakfast that fueled our walk around the large park nearby.  There are some very nice ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey, which was bombed during the Second World War.  York contains some interesting stone walls, cute streets, and good snack foods.

In the early afternoon Grant, Evelyn, John, Kira, Pam and Rory headed over to Betty’s for tea, a famous tea house in town.  Karen and I spent some quality time with our nephew Kelly, as it was apparent 3 and 1/2 year old boys don’t like tea.  With Kelly upon my shoulders, we walked around town while he ate crackers and used my head as a plate.  One highlight was imitating the faces the gargoyles made on the sides of the older buildings.  We walked back to the hotel for a rest and played with Thomas the Train books and had a pillow fight.

On our way back into town to meet up with the others, Kelly was given a red ballon by a woman on the corner.  This kept him entertained as we discussed how the Helium in the ballon kept it floating.  When we later asked Kelly what was inside the ballon, he proudly responded, “pink!”

We visited the Jorvik Viking Center, a well-done museum with plenty of information on the Viking settlement in York.  Mom (Pam) took the two kids back to the hotel while the remaining six of us attended a pub on the riverfront called the King’s Arms.  A good pub with over a hundred years of floodwater history record.  We wrapped up the night at Plonker’s and a walk along the river back to our hotel.

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